Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Leptodactylus validus exhibits an unusual distribution inhabiting Trinidad, Tobago, and the Lesser Antilles, but not the mainland of South America. This distribution is inconsistent with other distribution patterns observed for these islands. Although slight variation in adult morphology has been observed among the island populations, call data suggest the presence of a single species. Calls of Leptodactylus pallidirostris from Venezuela suggested that this taxon might be conspecific with L. validus. Herein sequence data from the 12S and 16S mt rRNA genes were collected and analyzed in order to address: 1.) whether more than one species is represented within L. validus, and 2.) to determine if L. pallidirostris is conspecific with L. validus. Independent and combined phylogenetic analyses were conducted using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis. Results obtained indicate that L. validus represents a single species throughout its distribution and is conspecific with L. pallidirostris.

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